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Thread: New onset of fighting

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    Unhappy New onset of fighting

    We adopted our two guinea pigs separately and they about 2.5 years different in age. One is about 10 months, the other is 3 and change. They have been living together just fine for the last 7 months in their habitat (we have a standard guinea pig cage connected to a 43" diameter playpen). We have two pigloos that they both use interchangeably, along with various tunnels, etc.

    Obviously, when the younger one was a baby, the bigger one was clearly the alpha. A few months ago, the younger one became about the same size as the older and there was some dominance showing both ways, but the only aggression was the occasional mounting. Only in the last few weeks have we noticed the older one being more aggressive towards the younger. There has been aggressive chasing/pouncing and there are some red, linear scabs where it looks like some hair has been pulled out. Also, I've only noticed it occurring in the mornings (although I could be missing overnight scuffles).

    Could it be the younger one is more mature, now? Or is it because it is now "mating season" (even though there are no females around)? We are not sure why this is starting now or what to do about it - please help!

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    You've got two male guinea pigs, one in puberty. Squabbling is to be expected.

    How big is the cage? Lack of space is a major reason for guinea pig aggression.

    All hideys in a guinea pig cage need to have two doors. Pigloos are just an invitation for one pig to trap another and get its face slashed for its efforts.

    They also need a large flat space to run in, so look at the placement of the cage furniture. If it's breaking up the open space, either take some of it out or move it to the edges.

    It may also help to hang a couple of fleece forests in the cage so they're not always visible to each other.

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    The cage is a standard 2x3 cage with the attached 43" diameter pen. Click image for larger version. 

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    And there is usually a towel covering the cage to give them some darkness during the day (removed for pic).

    And I am sorry I did not mention - the wounds appear to be mostly on the little one's backside, towards his rear end. During the day, they mostly sleep in the separate pigloos and occasionally they share the big one or the tunnel.

    As for flat spaces, we separate the cage from the pen and let them run around our apartment (which we have pig-proofed for wires, cleaning supplies, etc) for 2 hours each night.

    Hopefully it is just a phase? We had hoped that since the younger one has grown up with the older one, it would help curb adult confrontations.

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    No wonder they fight. There's not nearly enough flat space to run around, there's too much furniture, and there are plenty of places for one pig to trap another.

    I'd get that honking big purple pigloo out altogether, cut another hole in the other one, and take out either the tunnel or the fiddlesticks from the pen. I don't know what that green upside-down cup is for, but I'd get rid of it also. And I'd hang a piece of fleece across one section of the pen so they're not always visible to each other.

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    No wonder they're fighting! They barely have enough room to turn around in their current setup. You say, "we separate the cage from the pen and let them run around our apartment for 2 hours each night."

    As you have discovered, that simply is not enough. Your intentions are good but the reality is that cavies want to play and exercise on THEIR schedule(s), not when we decide to offer them the opportunity to do so. They need a large enough cage so that they can exercise on their own terms and at their preferred times.

    Look through the photo gallery as their are literally hundreds of photos of various cage setups to give you construction ideas.

    There is no such thing as mating season in the cavy world. In that regard, they are stimulated by the scent of the presence of a sow in heat. If the overwhelming dominance of the older boar continues, you may want to consider getting him neutered.

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    I appreciate your feedback. The green bucket was just something someone gave us recently so we tossed it in there to see if they did anything with it. I think we need to keep the big purple pigloo as the little one loves to jump up there to either eat hay from the feeder or sleep - he used to do that with the smaller pigloo, but he has outgrown it. I will definitely look into hiding places with more than one entrance - I recall seeing a wooden one like that. Thanks, again!

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    No wonder they're fighting! They barely have enough room to turn around in their current setup. You say, "we separate the cage from the pen and let them run around our apartment for 2 hours each night."

    As you have discovered, that simply is not enough. Your intentions are good but the reality is that cavies want to play and exercise on THEIR schedule(s), not when we decide to offer them the opportunity to do so. They need a large enough cage so that they can exercise on their own terms and at their preferred times.

    Look through the photo gallery as their are literally hundreds of photos of various cage setups to give you construction ideas.

    There is no such thing as mating season in the cavy world. In that regard, they are stimulated by the scent of the presence of a sow in heat. If the overwhelming dominance of the older boar continues, you may want to consider getting him neutered.
    I appreciate your feedback as well. I know our current situation is not ideal. We had originally planned to get a place where they would have their own room, but that did not pan out, unfortunately. Luckily, we are moving in a few months to a larger place which should hopefully resolve all issues. We are just doing what we can in the meantime.

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    Re: New onset of fighting

    Then move that big pigloo into the pen so they've at least got room to move around it. And take a jigsaw and cut another door in it.

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